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What is a seizure network? Very fast oscillations at the interface between normal and epileptic brain

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Mark Cunningham, Professor Miles Whittington


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Although there is a great multiplicity of normal brain electrical activities, one can observe defined, relatively abrupt, transitions between apparently normal rhythms and clearly abnormal, higher amplitude, "epileptic" signals; transitions occur over tens of ms to many seconds. Transitional activity typically consists of low-amplitude very fast oscillations (VFO). Examination of this VFO provides insight into system parameters that differentiate the "normal" from the "epileptic." Remarkably, VFO in vitro is generated by principal neuron gap junctions, and occurs readily when chemical synapses are suppressed, tissue pH is elevated, and [Ca2+]o is low. Because VFO originates in principal cell axons that fire at high frequencies, excitatory synapses may experience short-term plasticity. If the latter takes the form of potentiation of recurrent synapses on principal cells, and depression of these on inhibitory interneurons, then the stage is set for synchronized bursting - if [Ca2+]o recovers sufficiently. Our hypothesis can be tested (in part) in patients, once it is possible to measure brain tissue parameters (pH, [Ca2+]o) simultaneously with ECoG. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Traub RD, Cunningham MO, Whittington MA

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Issues in Clinical Epileptology: A View from the Bench

Year: 2014

Volume: 813

Pages: 71-80

Print publication date: 11/07/2014

Online publication date: 14/05/2014

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900

Series Title: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology

Publisher: Springer

Place Published: Dordrecht


DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-8914-1_6

PubMed id: 25012368

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9789401789134